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176                           LETTERS   FROM   THE

fifty thousand livres a year by Madame de Biro0's

January ^oth, 1797*

I wish the elections of April may pass without
a heavy storm; but the clouds are gathering black.
The meetings of the public assemblies are tempes-
tuous. Murders have been lately perpetrated by
one party or the other. I trust it may blow over.

The conversation of the day is of a journalist
being taken to the Directory and whipped in the
President's apartments. What will be the issue I
cannot tell, but all the papers are full of it. For
my part, my wish is to inspire the Government with
a proper idea of my character, to interfere with
no party, to attend only to the subject of my
mission, but, at the same time, to cultivate culti-
vandos. I hope this can lead to no harm. I have
neither cipher nor means of transmitting any in-
telligence ; therefore, were I ever so much disposed
to be active, I must remain quiet.

Now comes another letter about Mrs. Talbot
and her niece 1 Who the deuce she is I know
not, so shall pass her over as quickly as I can.